After a remarkable season, leading to the Bastone’s first ever Tier 2 Championship, GM and Head Coach Mario Ventullo was asked to speak about the season, his club and the future of the TBB. Here’s what the newest DP Tier 2 Champion had to say.
Mario first off congratulations, tell us now a couple of weeks after capturing the Championship how it feels?
First off thank you Peter for having me do this interview and thanks again for the congrats. It’s been a couple weeks and it still feels like it happened yesterday. It’s an awesome feeling. This is the first ever Tier 2 Championship for TBB (Bastone) organization so it is definitely a special one. But this wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for every single player on TBB from goaltending to defense to the forwards. This was definitely a total team effort as every player played a crucial role in this Championship and was a reason why we hoisted the Tier 2 Championship. I also would like to thank my good friend Johnny Vono as we coached this team together and he was never recognized for his contributions to the success of this team. He was a big part on us winning this past Fall Tier 2 championship and I would like to thank him for all his hard work.
Ralph Pellicori, what has he meant to the success of your club in his first season?
Ralph has been a big part to our success. Every team needs to start with a good goaltender and Ralph brings that and a whole lot more. He’s a great guy to have on the team and brings such a great vibe to the team on and off the floor. We know with Ralph in net he gives us a chance to win every game even if were not on our best game. Ralph has the ability to steal a game for us and that is big to have on any team.
Making the jump from Tier 3 in the Fall, what were the expectations of your young club coming into the season?
Everyone on the team I’m sure had different expectations mine personally I like to set the standard low which was just to qualify for playoffs, have some fun and learn from the experience but I also did have confidence in my guys to do the unexpected which we did and that was becoming DPBHL Tier 2 Fall Champions.
Let’s say after your last Tier 2 DP season and the “infamous” penalty shot situation, do you feel that karma was on your side coming into this season?
Thanks Pete you had to remind me of that situation lol. I wouldn’t say Karma was really on our side I just think the guys played well through any situation we got in. The guys stayed calm and dealt through it and it paid off.
Tell us how the lineup of the TBB was put together, you seemed to have recruited a lot of faces we’re used to seeing in other uniforms?
The team was put together with inputs from myself, our captain TJ Stovell and Johnny Vono. We built around our core guys from Tier 3 and we added guys that were good team players as well as skilled players. Team is now built around 19 guys and every player played hard and was a huge part on us winning as everyone played for each other rather than themselves.
Now that you have won the prestigious Tier 2 DP Championship, how far away are you from becoming a Premier franchise?
We just completed our first session in Tier 2. Our main focus right now is to gain more experience in this upcoming Winter season and try our hardest to try to repeat as Champions. As for the Premier division I’m sure one day everybody will see TBB there in the very near future.
Game 3 SF versus the Toronto Hitmen and you are forced into a penalty shot shootout to advance, what’s going through your mind at that time?
I was just hoping that the “infamous” penalty shot situation didn’t occur again and if the Hangar defibrillator was in working order just in case but all joking aside I had great confidence in my guys to send us to the finals.
Which of the 3 playoff series you had Leafs, Hitmen or Titans did you most fear?
All 3 of these series were tough series and lots of respect go out to both the Leafs Reloaded and the Toronto Hitmen as they gave us a good battle all series long but I would have to say Toronto Titans obviously as they been one of the dominating Tier 2 teams in the past/present and have won this league a couple times so definitely with their experience and track record they were a team to most fear.
Heading into the Winter season, are you confident that the TBB can be the first ever Tier 2 team to repeat as DP Champions in Fall/Winter sessions?
As a team we are confident we can repeat as Champions but the DPBHL Tier 2 is one of the hardest divisions to win let alone try and repeat as Champions as on any given night any team can win so it will be a challenge to repeat as Champions but we will work hard to try and make it happen.
Three words that describe the TBB?
HARD WORKING TEAM
Thank You Mario Ventullo for sharing your thoughts and views with us!
Tier 2 Convener